Earth Science Week Update May 2014

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 12, No. 5: May 2014


Contests Add Fun, Learning
To Earth Science Week 2014

AGI is sponsoring three national contests for Earth Science Week 2014. The photography, visual arts, and essay contests - all focused on the event theme of “Earth’s Connected Systems” - allow both students and the general public to participate in the celebration, learn about Earth science, and compete for prizes.

The photography contest, open to all ages, focuses on “Connections in My Community.” Open to students in grades K-5, the visual arts contest is titled “Earth’s Connected Systems and Me.” Finally, students in grades 6-9 are eligible to enter the essay contest: “Earth System Science in Today’s World.” Essays of up to 300 words should describe how the study of Earth’s connected systems is helping to improve the world today.

Entries may be submitted any time up to the Friday of Earth Science Week, October 17, 2014. The first-place prize for each contest is $300 and a copy of AGI’s “The Geoscience Handbook.” To learn more about these contests, including how to enter, visit

Make Connections With
Earth Science Organizations

Want to organize a field trip or a classroom presentation led by a professional geoscientist for Earth Science Week? Start preparing by networking with local scientists, professors, employers, nonprofit representatives, environmental educators, and government leaders in the geosciences!

To facilitate partnerships between educators and others in the Earth science community, AGI has launched the Earth Science Organizations (ESO) database. ESO’s national map pinpoints local contacts for AGI member societies, state geological surveys, agencies such as USGS and NASA, universities offering geology programs, parks, museums, and other Earth science groups.

Don’t wait until autumn. Now is the time to reach out to potential partners and invite them to collaborate during Earth Science Week 2014 (October 12-18). Use this online tool ( to identify potential geoscience partners near you, access relevant information, and network with colleagues. To recommend an organization (or have one removed), contact AGI’s Katelyn Murtha (

Make Discoveries During
National Fossil Day 2014

Time travel is in your future! The National Park Service and AGI are collaborating to kick off the fifth annual National Fossil Day during Earth Science Week 2014. On Wednesday, October 15, you and your students can participate in events and activities taking place across the country at parks, in classrooms, and online.

Ever look at a fossil and see into the past? Understand why paleontologists protect the locations where fossils are found? Know what fossils can tell you about climate change? National Fossil Day resources and activities help you answer these questions, celebrating the scientific and educational value of fossils, paleontology, and the importance of preserving fossils for future generations.

Look for fossil-themed activities and materials in the Earth Science Week 2014 Toolkit. And stay up to date on emerging resources and events through the National Fossil Day web site at

Partners Teach Kids About
Science of Conservation

Partners in Resource Education (PRE), an Earth Science Week partner, provides programs and activities to get young people excited about the geoscience of conservation. Focusing on national resource priorities such as pollinators, wetlands, oceans, invasive species, endangered species, fire, and climate change, PRE teaches people about sustaining and safeguarding living resources in their own backyards.

PRE is a consortium of seven federal agencies: Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, National Park Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency. By combining staffs and resources, the agencies educate young people, introduce them to natural resource careers, and cultivate the next generation of land and water stewards.

PRE’s signature project, Hands on the Land, connects students, teachers, and parents to public lands and waterways. Education specialists work closely with teachers to develop programs that meet state standards and engage students in hands-on activities. Students to take part in environmental monitoring and other activities through distance learning and the project web site (

Ponder Paleontology
Through PRI’s Resources

The Paleontological Research Institution (PRI), an AGI member society, isn’t just a natural history museum based in Ithaca, New York. PRI offers many education materials and opportunities for science teachers and students at all grade levels.

The online “Teacher Friendly Guide” gives brief geologic histories of every region of the United States. Also available online are photos and descriptions of the museum’s fossil collections. Since 2003, PRI has offered the Museum of the Earth, which focuses on all of Earth’s history and its life forms, with particular focus on the Northeastern United States.

Additionally, PRI has programs in research, publications, collections, and public outreach. Its paleontological research journal, “Bulletins of American Paleontology,” first published in 1895, is the oldest in the Western Hemisphere. For more information, email The museum’s web site is a great place to learn about paleontology, geology, and the Earth. Check it out (

Family Science Fun
At AGU Fall Meeting

The American Geophysical Union (AGU), an AGI member society and longtime Earth Science Week partner, offers a wide range of learning opportunities for students, educators, students, and families at AGU’s 47th annual Fall Meeting in San Francisco, December 15-19, 2014 (

For example, the meeting will kick off on Sunday, December 14, with “Exploration Station” from 1 to 5 p.m. This free open house will enable meeting attendees, their families, and others to learn about exciting discoveries occurring in Earth and space science. During the event, participants will visit about 25 exhibits, meet scientists, do hands-on science, and take home cool resources collected during their visit.

As an exhibitor, you would be expected to be at the event for the full four hours plus set-up and take-down time. You also would be expected to create a fun, dynamic, and interactive learning experience for about 500 members of the public of all ages. All costs for the event other than shipping and handling of materials are covered by AGU.

If you would like to present at Exploration Station, please register at Registration applications must be completed by August 20, 2014. If you have any questions, please contact AGU’s Bethany Adamec ( or Pranoti Asher (

Reaching Out to
Spanish-Speaking Students

Many geoscience educators have distributed AGI’s “Why Earth Science?” brochure to promote awareness of the importance of Earth science in K-12 education over the years. To ensure that this vital message reaches the widest possible audience, AGI has translated the publication into Spanish.

The geoscience community encourages minority participation. America’s more than 40 million Hispanics comprise the nation’s largest race or ethnic minority, a population that is rapidly growing. What’s more, most Hispanics ages five and up speak Spanish at home, says the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Why Earth Science?” explains the importance of Earth science education for success in school, careers, informed decision-making, and civic engagement. English and Spanish versions of the brochure also are available online as downloadable files at

Become a Proud Sponsor
Of Earth Science Week

Would your organization like to join longstanding sponsors such as the USGS, NASA, the National Park Service, AAPG Foundation, AGU, GSA, SME, AASG, National Geographic, and Esri in supporting Earth Science Week? If so, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to this year’s campaign as a program sponsor.

Reaching more than 50 million people a year, Earth Science Week is the geoscience community’s premier outreach campaign, promoting awareness of Earth science among audiences such as science educators, students, and professionals. Program Sponsors receive visibility through recognition on Earth Science Week’s web site, poster, kit, and other materials. To learn more, please visit

Visit Your Nearby
National Wildlife Refuge

Overlapping Earth Science Week this year, National Wildlife Refuge Week is being held October 14-20, 2014. The event celebrates the richness of the 550 units that make up America’s National Wildlife Refuge System.

Whether you prefer to study Earth science firsthand, admire the fall colors, thrill to a sky full of migratory birds, explore a mountain trail, or learn about the cultural resources that are part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s conservation mission, you can find what you like at a National Wildlife Refuge.

Sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a longtime Earth Science Week partner, this week focuses on lands and waters where wildlife and habitats are under federal protection. For information and educational resources, see online. Got to the National Wildlife Refuge Locator’s map at to find refuges near you.

Connect Yourself to an
Earth Science Career

Earth Science Week can help you explore career opportunities in the geosciences. If you became an Earth scientist, for example, what would you actually do? What funds are available to help pay for your studies? How could you get real-world work experience while still being a student?

For the answers to questions like these, look no further than “Geoscience Career, Scholarship, and Internship Resources.” This recent addition to the Earth Science Week web site can help you learn how to build a geoscience career - in fields such as oceanography, paleontology, seismology, mineralogy, meteorology, geophysics, petroleum geology, environmental science, and space science.

The site includes dozens of links to online resources offered by AGI member societies, program partners, and other governmental, corporate, and nonprofit organizations in the geoscience community. To learn more, visit

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 50 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society’s use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment. For contact information, please visit

To subscribe to this newsletter, visit and Submit your email address.